Maritime Classification Societies' Role in the Development of Aviation Verification and Validation Processes

Endrikat, Jonathan D. (Stevens Institute of Technology) | Ferreiro, Larrie D. (Stevens Institute of Technology)

OnePetro 

Maritime Classification Societies have traditionally been the primary source for verification and validation of ship design, construction, and maintenance. In 1929, they began looking at the aviation industry as a new market for their services. The recent commercialization of aircraft along with similarities in calculations and design elements to ocean-going vessels caused the aviation industry, government entities, and insurance companies to turn to Classification Societies for verification and validation services. These services were to be fulfilled through the development and enforcement of Rule sets as they had done for the maritime industry. These Rules for classing aircraft would have promoted structural integrity, airworthiness, and a culture of safety. Given that these societies had engineers consisting primarily of naval architects and marine engineers instead of those already in aeronautics, Classification Societies' organizational structure did not properly align with the aviation industry's need for verification and validation processes. Maintaining an organizational structure focused around empirically gained maritime knowledge, along with the rapid growth of accessible tools being developed by aircraft designers ultimately cause Classification Societies to leave the industry by 1939 due in large part to the fact that government, not private industry, was taking control of the process. Since this experience, Classification Societies have been hesitant to provide verification and validation services to sectors outside that of ocean structures. Today, Classification Societies have a potential opportunity to provide organizational guidance on verification and validation processes in new industries such as maritime cyber security.